Hi folks! I know it's been a few days since my last post- but between the usual extended hours at the bar and my whirlwind impromptu trip up to Montreal this past weekend, you were stuck with looking at the same old post for almost a week.  Oops.  My bad.

In any case, a quick bit about my recent trip.  We had been talking about heading up to Montreal to catch the NY Rangers vs the Habs, but with recent attempts to go up there falling through for various reasons, I didn't want to commit to anything until I knew for sure we had game tickets in hand.  So me and my road trip buddies patiently waited with fingers crossed for that call that would determine whether or not this weekend was going to be possible.

We got through most of the week without hearing a word from my contacts at the NHL and by Wednesday night, I was ready to concede defeat.  I'd been blessed with tickets from my friends at the league in the past, but this time I was really pushing the envelope in asking for 4 tickets.  If it didn't work out, no big deal; They have always been good to me, so I couldn't complain if they didn't come through this time.

However, all was golden when I woke up to this text:

I thought I was seeing things; When it dawned on me that we actually scored 4 tickets to Bell Centre to see the Rangers vs Canadiens, I was ecstatic!  I broke the news to the boys and then we had to see if we could pull this trip together last-minute.  We all begun to make alternate plans in case these tickets didn't come through, but once it became official that we were in for the game, it was full steam ahead to make this trip happen.  After pulling all kinds of strings with schedules, hotels, transportation and such, we made our way up to Montreal early Saturday morning for what would be another whirlwind weekend.

Now up to this point, everything had fallen into place perfectly; Booked a hotel with no problem; PATS FAN was nice enough to loan us his vehicle, which was a great plus.  We traveled through the state with no problems and even breezed through customs with no problem (though the inspector was surprised that someone would loan their car to us to make such a trip).  Such smoothness is rare for me, as something always happens to me whenever I make a trip.

Sure enough, we started to experience hiccups once we got into Montreal.  It had begun to snow when we approached the border and by the time we made it into the city, there was a decent amount of snowfall in the city.  It became apparent that it would be somewhat difficult to get around, so we amended our original plans and decided to check into our hotels and go straight to pre-game mode.

First stop was to the Irish Embassy Pub on Bishop Street.  Our good buddy, Tim and his lovely fiancee, Alex were working the pre-game shift and a couple of people I follow on Twitter were hosting a pre-game radio show there.  It was a perfect location as it was only a few blocks from the arena.  We were pumped to see them and equally pumped to hit the arena, as we found out that not only did we score tickets to the game, but the ULTIMATE seats: four tickets on the glass, next to the penalty box!

So here we are, partaking in a great pre-game, complete with great beers, killer apps (including an awesome pulled-pork poutine), some obligatory shots, and only moments away from going to see the two teams I support in the best arena in the world for hockey, Bell Centre.

After our pre-game, we made our way over to the Bell Centre and took some obligatory photos and I let the boys take in the aura of the building.  This was their first game here so I wanted them to experience it fully.  We get to our seats and it hit us: These were fantastic seats!!!

Sweet seats! 

Penalty Box... 

Um.. fancy seeing you here! 

As you can see the seats were awesome and more importantly, the game was great (for me at least)! Habs win 3-0!

We followed up our visit to Bell Centre by going to our old stand-by, McLean's Pub, where we caught up with the great staff, led by Jay Farrar.  We watched some UFC, took down some beer towers, and eventually closed the joint (thanks again to the staff of McLeans's for the hospitality).  Of course, that made our return trip home, slightly miserable, but balanced by the fact that we all had a great time and a memorable trip.

I'm still on cloud 9.


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